Posted by: yashada | January 15, 2009

A Secret Uncovered

There was an essay competition organized by a local economic group, the title for the essay being ‘ Global Warming-Challenges for India’.  This post is about a discovery I made while preparing for the essay.

There is a certain website I stumbled onto during one of my searches:  http://www.worldclimatereport.com/.

At first glance, it seemed like a pretty good one. It said

World Climate Report, a concise, hard-hitting and scientifically correct response to the global change reports which gain attention in the literature and popular press. As the nation’s leading publication in this realm, World Climate Report is exhaustively researched, impeccably referenced, and always timely. This popular web log points out the weaknesses and outright fallacies in the science that is being touted as “proof” of disastrous warming. It’s the perfect antidote against those who argue for proposed changes to the Rio Climate Treaty, such as the Kyoto Protocol, which are aimed at limiting carbon emissions from the United States.”

“Acclaimed by those on both sides of the global warming debate, World Climate Report has become the definitive and unimpeachable source for what Nature now calls the “mainstream skeptic” point of view, which is that climate change is a largely overblown issue and that the best expectation is modest change over the next 100 years. WCR is often cited by prominent scientists and lawmakers and is a surprisingly enjoyable read—which may account for its broad appeal.”

So it appeared like a place where I could get a lot of information about the ‘other side’, the side of ‘climate skeptics’ who have apparently interpreted the data diffrently. But the more I read the more I disliked the way the authors wrote. I found their writing too inflamatory and simply non-professional. For a while I didn’t give  much thought to their style of writing but after a point I thought they had crossed the line.

So I did a bit of gooling on the authors of this website and about the website itself. One google search led to another and I ended up uncovering a lot of nasty stuff.

I discovered that ‘world climate report’ is a newletter of the Greening Earth Society. Aaah, such a plesant name! This Greening Earth Society makes you think of hard working dedicated people working together to make the world a better place, battling major fund crunches. But in reality  I found  that this society is funded by no other than Western Fuels Association.  Hmm, a fuel association funding climate skeptics, how convinient.  Groups established by industry bodies like the Western Fuels Association have been criticized as Astroturf organizations, since they appear superficially to be grassroots initiatives.

But the story does not end here, through some more googling I found yet another website by Greenpeace called Uncovering Exxon Secrets. Fyi, Exxon is the world’s largest  fuel company.

 Greenpeace has uncovered a network that channelizes money from Exxon to institutes like, well you guessed  it, Greening Earth Society. I quote from the Greenpeace’s webite:

“With names like “The Cato Institute”, “The Heritage Foundation”, “Frontiers of Freedom Institute” and “Tech Central Station” you might think these groups are independent organisations. You would imagine their opinions are unbiased and impartial. You might assume they are balanced and neutral.”

“But if you did, you’d be wrong. These and many other think tanks, which have names designed to hide their real agenda, are putting forward opinions denying or debasing the science behind global warming. And they are getting funding from the fossil fuel industry which is causing the problem.”

You  should see the names of some other  NGOs and organizations this company funds – Arfica fighting malaria, Accuracy in Media, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Centre for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Climate Change, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Climate Research Journal, Citizens for  the Environment, Alliance for Climate Strategies, Global Cimate Coalition, Institute for Biosphere Research, International Climate Science Coalition…the list is endless.

Greenpeace’s website also says:

“When these groups (like World Climate Report and Greening Earth Society) talk to media they don’t like to mention who funds them. They want the media to believe that they are independent commentators. So journalists are often left with the wrong impression – and so is the public.

ExxonMobil, also known as Esso or Mobil, is the world’s biggest oil company. It has plenty of money and is not afraid of using it to fund pseudo-science and front groups to shoot down anyone speaking out about global warming. Since 1998 ExxonMobil has spent more than US$ 12 million on climate sceptics.”

Greenpeace’s  website has actually documented Exxon Mobil’s funding of climate skeptics themselves. Dr. Michaels, one of the authors of World Climate Report has acknowledged that 20% of his funding comes from fossil fuel sources. He received $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association,

I was disgusted by looking at the  enormous scale in which autoturfing is being done by this Corporation. The silver lining is that their dirty deeds have been exposed.

Check these websites out for yourself and spread the word! Spread the awareness!!

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Responses

  1. What happens after Greenpeace exposes these astroturfing practices?

    Is there any legal implication here?

    Cant these corporations get away by just saying that they are defending themselves, even though they themselves dont have a conclusive answer for Global Warming? Who has a conclusive answer?

    What are the odds that the pro-globalwarming community is not reflecting the facts correctly? OR (in other words)

    Is climate science exact enough to evidently associate a cause-effect relationship? (I am not opposed to the Low Carbon Footprint argument, but I am relying only on visual evidence like most ignorant people who only know how to spell global warming)

    Besides the corporations are caught up in two battles:
    1) to reduce their carbon footprint

    2) reducing carbon footprint is expensive & technology isnt yet in place, so it eats into shareholder wealth.

    So preserving shareholder interests [now] (purely for survival) v/s slow degradation of the environment.

    What do you think they are bound to choose?

    Great post, now I’m hooked.
    You must watch the Documentary called “The Corporation”
    (talks about such slow poisoning v/s profiteering)

  2. I don’t know the answers to your questions.
    But I will try to find out and post them if i find something worth sharing.

  3. hey Raunak, check this site out:

    http://transitionculture.org/2010/02/01/a-review-of-climate-cover-up-by-james-hoggan/

    It’s a review of a new book in the market, ‘Climate Cover-up’ by James Hogan. Maybe we’ll find some answers in the book.

  4. Thanks yoyo

    Will chk it out.


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